I moved to Cincinnati in 2006. They welcomed me with the traditional foods of their people.
First they took me to Frischs'. I had eaten at a Denny's before, so I laughed it off. Maybe it was a thing like calling facial tissues "Kleenex" or all fizzy drinks a "Coke" or off-white powders from West Lafayette "Crank".
Well, that didn't work, so they took me to get "Chili".
I come from the Skoal-ring, deer-meat, strip-mined wastes around Evansville, Indiana, USA. There, once a year, the second-largest street festival in the country is held. The West Side Nut Club Fall Festival is a glob of the usual carnival rides, shirtless guys with Dobermans, and dingleshit politicians around a hot, greasy nucleus of Brain Sandwich Stands. There, in celebration of God's bountiful harvest, sweet, Catholic ladies from St. Wendell gather around hot fryers full of pure vegetable oil, dredge thick slices of neuron-fat matrix in all-purpose flour, fry 'em up golden, and put 'em on a bun with onion and a dill slice.
There are certain shibboleths, certain rites of passage that are accepted despite their outward absurdity, and have become a symbol that binds a people together. I tell you, without pride or shame, that adult circumcision, facial tattooing, finally punching your dad, or getting your "red wings" ain't shit compared to mastering your gag reflex when confronted with a steaming brain sandwich.
So you must understand that I understood. I know why Cincinnati did it. I know that those sweet, giving people were offering brotherhood when they bestowed that 3-way unto me. I know their hearts were a conduit for the pure agape of the Christ when presenting me that styrofoam dog-dish of writhing, anti-spiced WRONGNESS that could only spring from the charnel kitchen of some Lovecraftian Fish-Man.
When I spit out that forkful of Hot Tapeworms in Alpo, it was wrong. I might as well have used your thrice-great grandmother's Christmas creche to soothe my hemorrhoids. I am sorry, Cincinnati.
But you gotta believe me. I'm from Evansville. I know nasty. I have an AAS in "Industrial Nasty for Workgroups". And I just CAN NOT.
Cincinnati, there is a better way. Instead of that bullshit fake chili, take your new foreign friend bar hopping. Puddle them up with alcohol. Get them so gooned they are reduced to a 100 word vocabulary. Put them to bed. Then in the morning, haul their dehydrated carcass to the Bluejay and get them some goetta and eggs, because that stuff is CHOICE.
Goetta is obviously something that was born of lean times. Frau Armutgrube was down to one sausage for her kids, and with inspiration born of need, produced a crispy, unctuous hug of sausage mush that gave her family the strength to endure that bastard winter. (Except for little Waldemar. Ja, Großmutter, he was the best of us.) And it'll slide a hangover right out of you.
Cincinnati needs to roll new citizens in the human condition, give them delirium, pain and sickness, then wipe it away with goetta, blessed goetta. Through goetta they may know your goodness, your history and that you have their back.
Or get them one of those hot metts from Avril-Bleh.